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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | ICOM IC-R1 Help


Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-R1
ICOM IC-R1 Reviews: 2 Average rating: 3.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Wideband Receiver
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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VK7ZJA Rating: 3/5 Sep 23, 2014 01:45 Send this review to a friend
Review of IC-R1 with mods this time  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The good:
*AM reception is great, with no signal & squelch open, the receiver is quiet, almost silent - just as AM should be, not the shriek of white noise that some other receivers give you.
*Sound quality, given the speaker size and compared to other similar sized speakers in other radios, is good.
*Sensitivity is excellent, not quite up to AOR AR8000 / Yupiteru MVT7100 standards, but still very good indeed.
*And I still think that the IC-R1 is the cutest, most attractive looking handheld scanner ever made, 25 years on.
*Generally they're reliable devices, only requiring the lithium button cell and internal NiCd battery packs to be replaced to keep 'em going.
*Great range of accessories, such as add on battery packs, leather cases to suit, etc.

The 'meh':
*The squelch is a little indecisive, and needs to be set a bit higher than 'knife edge' for reliable operation. Doesn't seem to affect it's ability to stop on weak signals, thankfully.
*The keypad buttons are tiny! Can be hard to operate if you have big fingers.
*The dial control has a very solid detent 'click click click' action to it, which is annoying if you're free-tuning the VFO for example.

The bad:
In standard guise, the Icom IC-R1 was awful in the selectivity department. Strong signals would break through close by to the real frequency (worst at Fc +/- 190kHz) due to spurious response of 3rd IF filter. Strong signals would also mix in the front end, especially 88-108 MHz FM broadcasts, and cause intermod products between 2-15 MHz. And you'd also get harmonics of the 1st local oscillator mixing with incoming signals, producing 'images' of sorts far from where they should be. Dynamic range is also terrible.

Making it better:
However! There are modifications you can do to the IC-R1 that improve it's woeful selectivity problems, which transforms it from barely mediocre to definitely useable. The mods involve replacing the 2nd & 3rd IF filters. Unfortunately the mods won't fix the intermod or LO harmonic 'images', but they're a definite & very worthwhile improvement. *THIS* is how Icom should have delivered the IC-R1 back in 1989.
Also, mods are available to build in SSB reception for the IC-R1 (not an external BFO). If you take the intermod products out of the equation on HF, it actually works quite well on SSB. It becomes the smallest wideband SSB receiver in the world!
All things considered, especially given the technology available in the late 1980s to manufacture a miniature wideband receiver such as this, I think the IC-R1 does quite well - and with mods as described above, actually makes it somewhat useful again as a basic receiver.

To find the above described mods and more, Google "Icom IC-R1 SSB" and look for a pdf document in the results that is a combined review / restoration guide / modification how-to document.
 
VK7ZJA Rating: 3/5 Jan 29, 2005 14:47 Send this review to a friend
cute, but only mediocre  Time owned: more than 12 months
When released, the Icom R1 was the smallest, cutest scanner ever. It had RX range of about 500kHz to 1300 MHz, AM, FM & WFM with 100 memories.
Quite a few innovative scanning methods.
But, being so small, it had problems, mainly related to selectivity. Sensitive enough, though at HF it was a bit nasty - a small antenna could only hear weak HF signals, adding a large antenna caused HF to overload and squeak & squak all over the bands.
On VHF & UHF, in a busy area, it's selectivity is woeful, you will hear any strong nearby signal +/- 20 MHz!
But if used in an area where there's not so many nearby strong signals, it's fine.
I think it's still the cutest scanner available, but, the technology inside is only mediocre as far as RF abilities is concerned.
 


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